Starting to train puppy can be intimidating.  First, there is so much information out there and different ideas on philosophies.  Then, you must consider your own dog’s personality  as well as your family dynamic.  The season you are at in life can also greatly impact what you can/cannot do for puppy training.  With all of this in mind, I recommend starting this process before your puppy comes home, if possible.  This training should begin DAY 1 with your puppy, so it’s important to have a game plan.  But don’t loose heart if you already have your puppy.  Despite the old saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks!

The following books are my recommendations for reading up on the latest and most effective methods of training. The goal is to have a game plan in place to start with love and consistency from DAY 1 of brining your puppy home.  You want your puppy to have:

  1. A loving and trusting relationship
  2. Potty training
  3. Good “house manners”
  4. Basic obedience commands and maybe some fun ones too!

I personally use a combination of methods and techniques.  I have learned so many great ideas and tricks and I hope you will find them useful as well! Of course, there are 100’s of  other great resources out there.  These are just my personal favorites and my hope is to help you narrow down what literature you will read before beginning the exciting journey of building a bond and good relationship with a loving, well-mannered pup. Getting the guidance of a local professional dog trainer can also be an asset to your pup’s training.


  1. How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners: Monks of New Skete

This is like that master book of all dog training.  The Monks of New Sketes’ method has been used for over a century has be refined to create an excellent approach to raising a pup.  The cornerstone for their philosophy is understanding is the key to “communication, compassion, and communion” with your dog. They provide information to help you understand and appreciate your dog’s nature as well as his or her distinct personality–and in so doing, it can significantly enrich the life you share with your dog.



2. How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves: Dr. Sophia Yin DVM MS

They say that dog training isn’t really about training the dog, but training their humans in how to communicate.  Meaning, dogs are going to do what you ask, but first you have to learn how to ask them in their language.  This book, written by one of the leading veterinary behaviorists in the country, takes a scientifically sound yet practical approach to explaining dog behavior and training theory, and then shows you how to apply these concepts so you can train your dog to be well behaved.



3. Clicking With Your Dog: Step-By-Step in Pictures: Karen Pryor

My hubby and I had been training puppies for years before we started clicker training.  And it seriously was LIFE CHANGING!!!! It is so EASY, and so FUN!!! This method is quick and even children can help! In fact, if you have kids or if kids will be around your puppy, this is a great method to read up on.  I love this method also because it is all positive reinforcement based so it builds such a trusting and loving relationship between you and your dog.



4. 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog: Kyra Sundance

This is one is just FUN!!! It has easy step-by-step instructions for training your dog different commands.  They range from basic obedience commands to some really fun ones, like catching and hugging a stuffed animal.  Your dog will love the challenge and bonding time with you.  Dogs are so smart and thrive on continuous learning.  This is one of my favorite things to go to when it’s too rainy to play outside.  They also make a special kid’s version!



5. Dog Rules: 14 Secrets to Developing the Dog YOU Want: Kyra Sundance

I love this author’s approach to training, focusing on a “whole-dog” mindset.  She is a world-acclaimed Stunt Dog Team performer, nationally ranked dog sports competitor, and movie dog trainer, so she really knows her stuff.  I love her focus on finding solutions rather than focusing on the problem. The methodologies she talks about in this book are really an umbrella for working with your pup for their whole life.



I hope this helps narrow down your research for your own pup.  I wish you all the best with your training and building of a lasting and loving relationship.  Congratulations on your new puppy!!!!


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